Friday, May 20, 2005

Floods and Landslides-like New Zealand now?

Ok so there is no risk here at the moment,... but when it does rain ( We live in the wettest part of Victoria with over 15 million litres to be "bottled" off some of our hectares each year ) What's at risk ? How likely is it we could get what's happening in New Zealand at the moment ?
Houses moving and falling over?

Where? Shallow slides in soil and road fill are common in wet periods . Big slides are possible, especially around Apollo bay, but not always easily predicted . The best examples being the slide in 1952 that created Lake Elizabeth ( great new walk there with platypuses and all) ., one large one on Halls ridge in the 1990's and the slide which damned Wye river several hundred years ago .
When ?
October is when things are wettest, but high saturation of soils is common in August through to November. Along the coast risk of high 24hr rainfall totals is possible throughout the year due particularly to easterly influences. more info mreforce@

Why? Even though we live in the biggest landslide risk area in Australia ,our land forms are much older and generally more stable. But that doesn't mean complacency in the Otways and Heytsbury areas. There after all some big old slides that are still just sitting on the sides of hills waiting for that very wet period to move them along a bit.
As for flooding damage , there is one house featured in the paper this week , that is in a gorge - likely to go sometime in the next few decades.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

How dry has it been?

Enough to mean there is a high risk of electrical shocks when we get the first bit of rain !( previous story)
Apparently Lake colac is only about an 1" or so higher than it was this time last year . It may be 3 or so inches higher than it was at its driest a few years ago .......and its highly polluted
Maybe its time to do something to help nature along and " do someting about Lake Colac " You bet it is! What do you think? email to

Saltwatching and risk management

The power just went in Colac for about an hour today. Many lives were affected and work stopped . Most (I trust) rejoiced that we could stop work and ....had a chance to do something extra think about life after the b grade ( apparently) episodes? .

Naturally, as a conscientious risk management person I asked why this million dollar deficit in work not done ,.... and as a planner(http://planningandenvironment) " how could this be avoided"
Actually I skipped work for a while while the power was off ... and that was wonderful .

So what's all this stuff got to do with salt .

Well its most likely that its salty water that shorted the system somewhere out in the drizzle niches. The dust collecting on isulators over the last six months was, in the half hour of drizzle that preceeded the failure, just enough to cause high conductivity on the surface of the insulators . A dangerous moment soon past as fresh rainwater dissipates the risk and erodes the soil and salt .So watch out or should we say wash out ( and dry).

Don't forget its Salt week this week - a good time to collect samples of water in your ecossystems Why ? Because its the time when salinity in stream and spring water is usually the highest and most predictive of whats's happening near you . Bring your samples to any office of DPI . This week before it rains!!!!!

Monday, May 02, 2005

how do you ripen green tomatoes.  Posted by Hello